Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CIRENCESTER (cont'd)

It's getting to be the morning ritual: up at six, cup of tea, drive Hugo to the train station, back for a sit with sister Flora, then a bit of blogging. Breakfast with Ellie. Later in the morning, a leisurely walk down Coxwell Street...


The sunshine is deceptive, it was really quite cold for those of us who live in more temperate climates. Then out along a narrow lane...


... past the communal swimming pool (already closed for the season) and a horse pasture...


... and into the park which is a part of the Bathurst Estate--the home of the Earl of Bathurst.


The chestnut trees that line the great drive leading to the city are, sadly, diseased...


... but still producing those horse chestnuts--"conkers"--I used to play with as a boy. We collected a few of the shiny, dark brown nuts (the inedible kind) to bring home with us to California. Oh, and I loved those greens (birch, I believe, these ones; obviously not chestnut):


Heading back into town...



... we made our way to the Brewery Arts Center, where Flora's ceramics are a part of a current group show (not a good picture, I fear):


I had arranged to meet fellow-bloggers Fiona and Kaspa...


... of A River of Stones and the Malvern Sangha, a Pure Land Buddhist group. Readers of The Buddha Diaries might remember that I reviewed their beautiful book of short poems--same title as the blog--in these pages a while ago. It was a delight to meet them; we sat out in the sunshine over home-made soup and quiche and sandwiches, and talked about blogging, and Buddhism, mutual online friends and other common interests. This marks the first time, after all these years, that I have actually met a fellow blogger in the flesh. It did not surprise me to encounter excellent spirited people who love life and are dedicated to their work. Good to be "in touch"!

With Fiona and Kaspa on their way back to Malvern, we wandered back through the center of town to the church, where there are a number of grave markers dedicated to members of the Clothier family dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Cirencester was a center for the wool industry, and the Clothiers were prominent in that field. Here's one that notes the passing of on Hodgkinson Paine Clothier who died in 1642...


The inscription, if you can enlarge the image and take the time to work out the words, is a brief metaphysical poem based on the punning relationship between "Paine" and "pain" and the conflicting metaphors of "warre" and "peace." For those who have difficulty making out the words, the last four lines read: "He looseing quiet by warre yet gained ease/by it PAINE'S life began and paines did cease/And from ye troubles here him God did sever/by death to life (,) by warre to peace for ever." A neat sequence of conceits!

Home for a much needed rest, a chance to sleep--perchance to dream... while Ellie, with her boundless energy, explored the downtown shops. Off to the station to fetch Hugo back for a quiet dinner at home, and an early bed. Tomorrow (well, today, as I write this entry) we move on.


3 comments:

Kaspalita said...

Was lovely to meet you all, thank you for the mention.

Do post the photo when you can and I'll do a post about our meeting as well.

Just to let you know - the river of stones blog was set up for that project during January - we more regularly blog at Writing Our Way Home: - www.plantingwords.blogspot.com

mandt said...

The River of Stones poets---how delightful.

Chi Sphere said...

What an excellent trip your both having!